House Parliamentarian John Sullivan to retire

House leadership publicly offered its thanks to House Parliamentarian John Sullivan on Tuesday, following the announcement of his impending retirement.

“John Sullivan has served the House of Representatives with distinction for 25 years,” wrote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a statement.

“He has used his keen mind, excellent legal training and commitment to public service to make nonpartisan, objective decisions; always, he has kept our Constitution first in mind,” she added. “The American people have benefited from his great service.”

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Sullivan’s retirement earlier Tuesday; it comes after Sullivan's eight years in the post. Sullivan’s resignation will be effective March 31.

“John Sullivan’s retirement is a loss for the people’s House, which he has served with grace and distinction,” Boehner wrote in a statement.

The parliamentarian is a nonpartisan official appointed by the Speaker, responsible for rendering objective assistance on legislative and parliamentary procedure to the House of Representatives.

Succeeding Sullivan in the position will be Tom Wickham, who served as deputy parliamentarian since 2005. Wickham began his tenure with the Office of the Parliamentarian in April 1995 as an assistant parliamentarian, according to Boehner.

“Tom Wickham, in addition to being a master of the House’s rules and traditions, has the sound judgment and steady temperament required to serve as parliamentarian,” wrote Boehner. “Tom has earned the respect of lawmakers and staff on both sides of the aisle, and I have every confidence in him.”

Support for Boehner’s appointment extended across the House aisle, with Pelosi praising Wickham.

“Tom Wickham will continue in the fine tradition of John Sullivan,” she wrote. “He’s an experienced parliamentarian who loves the institution that is the House. I look forward to continuing to work with him.”